Rapper turns to Pro Basketball?!

Sheck Wes, the rapper behind smash hit “Mo Bamba”, turns to professional basketball.


Jonathan Farber

The biggest question is, will this impact Sheck Wes and his rap career?

Putting the microphone aside, Sheck Wes goes back to his roots of basketball. (Aaron Zimmerman)

Most high school students recall Sheck Wes as the rapper behind 5x Platinum record “Mo Bamba.” The song about the rappers good friend, and professional basketball player Mohamed Bamba highlighted the fall of 2018 for teenagers around the world.

What most people don’t know is that the two grew up together in Harlem, New York. From basketball in the streets to playing for their High school. Wes led his city in assists at the point guard position. However, the two took different routes. Bamba played for a year at the University of Texas and then went 6th in the 2018 NBA Draft to the Orlando Magic.

Before Wes really took to rapping, he was a model. In February 2016, he missed out on a playoff game for his team to model for Kanye West and his Yeezy Season campaign. Wes then took to rap, and in June 2017 he made the smash hit song about his friend that wouldn’t start getting traction until mid-2018. Ultimately, Wes was able to make a living just off this one song from the absurd number of streams. Not only did he rack in money from this song, but he also penned a deal with globally recognized rapper Travis Scott’s’ label “Cactus Jack Records.” He got his first big placement on Scott’s album “Astroworld” being featured on a song with deceased rapper Juice WRLD on the track “No Bystanders.”

On October 5th 2018, his debut album “Mudboy” was released. The sky seemed to be the limit for Wes after leaving behind basketball and modeling.

I asked two teenage boys about how they remember the song “Mo Bamba” and what their thoughts were on the rapper turning pro. Lafayette High Senior, Connor Huckins said, “I remember how the song seemed to come out of nowhere and how everyone knew the words and were always singing it and talking about it. All the sports teams at Lafayette had it on their pre-game playlists and it was just a great song at the time. Going pro in basketball is a great step for him because he’s already reached so many people with his music.”

A future college teammate of mine from New Jersey, Tommy O’ Keefe said, “The song was really hype for a few months but then it kind of fell off, I still listen to some of Sheck Wes’s other music but I had no clue he just went pro in basketball. I wonder why he decided to turn to basketball if he was already big in the music industry, I find it very interesting too how talented he is.”

Rapper Sheck Wes is signed to Travis Scott’s Label Cactus Jack Records. (Alex Furgiuele)

2.5 years later, Sheck Wes is back in the headlines for a different reason.  The rapper signed to play professional basketball in France. Playing in the second tier of professional hoops in France, Wes has signed for the Paris Basketball Team as their Instagram announced on March 1st.

This is not the first time the Cactus Jack Records member has tried to turn pro in the world of basketball as he declared for the NBA Draft in 2020, unfortunately going undrafted as he hasn’t played organized hoops since high school. In the build up to his draft bid, Sheck Wes released a song and visual titled “Been Ballin” in November of 2020 to showcase his basketball skills and generate hype behind him getting drafted, which obviously didn’t happen.

As of now on the Paris Basketball website, the 22 year-old rapper is listed as 6’2 174lb. His position interestingly enough is shown as “bench.” It is unknown how the French team plans to utilize Mudboy but the whole world is rooting for him and is surely wishing him the best of luck to #21.

With March Madness on the horizon, and Sheck Wes in the headlines again, Lauren Kerr felt like playing basketball.
Paris in the sports world is more known for their soccer team, Paris Saint Germain. Let’s see if Sheck Wes can put their basketball team on the map. ( Rafael Kellermann Streit)

Hopefully Wes can stay out of trouble while in Paris, as the Harlem-native was arrested in May 2020 for possession of Marijuana and guns at a traffic stop whilst in New York City. Wes didn’t even have his license on him either at the time as his Lamborghini truck was checked. Wes ended up getting released on recognizance and no bail. What can’t Sheck Wes do? It seems like he has done it all, all at the young age of 22.